Sunday, September 12, 2010

What is pyroluria?

Pyroluria is a familial disorder which occurs with stress, where an above-average amount of a substance consisting of "kryptopyrroles" circulate in the body. The substance is harmless in itself, but high levels of these pyrrolles systemically bind with B6 and zinc, preventing the use of these essential nutrients in the brain and body.

The root cause is the production of too much "kryptopyrrole" or "hemepyrrole" in the blood. A pyrrole is a chemical substance that is involved in the formation of heme, which makes blood red. Pyrroles bind with B6 and then with zinc, thus depleting these nutrients.

Pyroluria may occur along with other imbalances as seen in some subtypes of schizophrenia such as histapenia (low histamine), histadelia (high histamine), high copper levels or cerebral allergies. It is the primary imbalance for 20% of schizophrenics.
Signs & Symptoms

The symptoms of excess urinary kryptopyrrole first manifest themselves as behavioral abnormalities. Although children tend to be more easily diagnosed than adults, the symptoms are consistent: poor tolerance of physical and emotional stress, mood swings, depression, noise and other tactile sensitivities. Later symptoms can range from severe depression to chronic schizophrenia. Accompanying physical symptoms can include pain, seizures, even complete physical debilitation.

There is a myriad of other symptoms, including severe inner tension, ongoing anxiety, fearfulness, and sometimes episodic anger.

Often sufferers have pale skin that easily burns, eyes that are sensitive to light, white flecks/marks on their nails, and stretch marks on their skin. They tire easily, are anemic, have poor dream recall, prefer not to eat breakfast, notice upper abdominal pain when stressed, and experience a "stitch" in their side if they run. They have a tendency to become loners as they age. Mental symptoms are aggravated when undergoing stress. In fact, pyroluria flares up when the individual is undergoing prolonged stress, such as during a chronic and debilitating illness.

Symptoms also include sweet, fruity breath and body odor, general loss of appetite, motion sickness, problems with sugar metabolism, allergies. Mental phenomena include delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, occasional loss of contact with reality, amnesia spells, and low stress tolerance. The affected person has a tendency to have insight (understand they have mental problems).

Diagnosis & Tests

There is a urine lab test available which measures levels of kryptopyrroles. Any alcoholic, or anyone with symptoms indicating the possibility of this condition should have the lab test done.

Treatment & Prevention

Alcohol use is one way for pyrolurics to shut off their anxiety, feel more sociable, de-stress, and experience a short time when they feel more normal. Without a knowledge of this chemical imbalance, those who try to quit alcohol use must face coexisting with their symptoms. If additional antianxiety support is needed, GABA, tryptophan, chromium and inositol should be considered.

Pyroluria is treated by restoring levels of vitamin B6 and zinc so that this double deficiency is corrected. Supplementation with vitamin B6 until daily dream recall returns (a normal phenomenon) as well as with zinc and manganese needs to be continued daily. With zinc, manganese and vitamin B6 therapy the pyroluric patient may start to respond in 24 hours and certainly some progress is noted within one week.


However, total recovery may take three to four months. The biochemical imbalance and symptoms will usually recur within one to two weeks if the nutritional program is stopped.

1 comment:

  1. Kryptopyrroles

    What are Kryptopyrroles?
    Often people with depression or other mental health disorders demonstrate an abnormal production of a group of chemicals called 'pyrroles', this is called pyroluria. The pyrroles rob the body of B6 and Zinc causing them to be excreted in the urine. This may result in a deficiency of B6 and zinc, which supplementation can correct. It is most often seen in females. It is thought that about 10% of a normal population has pyroluria, which may cause symptoms when the patient is stressed

    What are the symptoms of Pyroluria imbalance?
    Signs and symptoms of pyroluria are many. There seems to be a familial or genetic component. A family history of mental illness and all-girl families especially if there is also a history of miscarried boys.
    " Frequent ear infections as a child, as well as colds, fevers and chills.
    " Fatigue
    " Nervous exhaustion
    " Insomnia
    " Poor memory or inability to think clearly
    " Hyperactivity
    " Seizures
    " Mood swings
    " Lack of regular periods in girls
    " Impotence in males
    " Unusual smelling breath and body odour
    " Inability to tolerate drugs and alcohol
    " Cold hands and feet
    " Abdominal pain
    " Intolerance to some protein foods, drugs or alcohol
    " Morning nausea and constipation
    " Difficulty remembering dreams
    " Frequent head colds and infections
    " Stretch marks in the skin

    Not all the symptoms are present for every pyroluric but any number of them should make you suspicious.
    Pyrolurics can often be identified by their appearance:
    " Pale skin. A black pyroluric will have the lightest skin in the family
    " A lack of hair on the head, eye brows and eye lashes
    " Teeth in the upper jaw will often be overcrowded (unless orthodontic treatments has taken place). and poor appearance of tooth enamel.
    " White marks on fingernails, be opaque and be tissue paper thin.
    " Acne, eczema, and herpes may also be present.

    Why does pyroluria occur?
    Pyroluria can occur at any age but appears to be brought on by stress. It is familial and may be a factor in the development of mental retardation, epilepsy, hyper activity and particularly depression.
    What does the test involve?
    Morning spot urine specimen - in urine jar (with Ascorbate as a long term preservative-optional).
    Note: Even without Ascorbate the results are accurate and reproducible for up to 7 days.